Press Release
September 5, 2023


Since the inception of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (Republic Act No. 10931) or the free higher education law, we saw an increase in the number of basic education students going to college. From 2018 to 2022, when the country implemented the Free Higher Education Law, the progression rate from senior high school to college has surged to an impressive average of 81%. In the Academic Years (AY) 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, before the implementation of the Free Higher Education Law, the progression rates from high school to college stood at 54% and 62%, respectively. This goes to show that the free higher education law achieved its goal of increasing youth participation in higher education. Like other laws, the free higher education law undergoes review so we can improve its implementation. A national screening test to determine the eligibility of students to avail free tuition, however, is redundant since state and local universities and colleges already have their own admission exams. Furthermore, basic education students are subjected to a multitude of assessments, including the National Admission Test (NAT), Early Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (ELLNA), Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI), and Basic Education Exit Assessment (BEEA), among others. At this point, the urgent concern for the government is expanding the capacity of our public colleges and universities. This is to ensure that there are enough classrooms, facilities, laboratories, and teachers in our State Colleges and Universities (SUCs) and that students who pass college entrance tests are not denied admission because of limited capacity. Moving forward, rest assured that I am committed to ensure the law's efficient implementation and funding, and that it can benefit more students.

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